Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Health Care

The only point I will make regarding the Health Care legislation is that is does not appear to address the problem of increased Health Care costs.

Rather, it takes a rather circuitous route via insurance pricing (which government has no special competency in given its radically different incentive structure than profit-driven private enterprise) that will *hopefully* decrease health care costs.

I think this is an illustration of governments ability to use the wrong mechanism in the furtherance of very admirable goals, and the unintended consequences from this bill (if it lasts more than a year) will be discussed in case studies for decades.

On a more serious note, the risks of social instability and political assasination have increased lately. No-one I have spoken with seems to assign ANY probability, however minute, to social instability and the consequences therefrom. I am under no such illusion that "it cannot happen here...it cannot happen now".

As an example to unintended (or intended, as the case may be), note this provision in the bill (soon to be law)


(i) REQUIREMENT- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, after the effective date of this subtitle, the only health plans that the Federal Government may make available to Members of Congress and congressional staff with respect to their service as a Member of Congress or congressional staff shall be health plans that are–

(I) created under this Act (or an amendment made by this Act); or

(II) offered through an Exchange established under this Act (or an amendment made by this Act).

In other words, the act applies to congress, but not the executive office.

The thing about populism, ladies and genetlmen, is that once you appeal to it, a Faustian bargain lingers. Erecting ringfences such as this provision between Caesar and the plebians will only invite disaster.

No comments: